All posts filed under: Games

How I Went From Aspiring Joker to Joker’s Wild Champion

My sophomore year of college, I took a leave of absence from NYU Film/TV after my sophomore year and set out for LA with dreams of becoming the next Freddie Prinze (minus the suicide). One of my best friends from high school and I had made a pact: We’d find an empty office on the Universal lot, set up shop like Steven Spielberg and take Hollywood by storm. I was the advance team and flew out via PEOPLExpress (one way just $99) to couch surf with an ex and her sister in Orange County until I could find a place. My arrival coincided with the reign of The Night Stalker Killer, and, as it turned out, my ex’s sister’s place was this latest Satanist’s favorite stalking grounds. The very first night, after the girls went out clubbing (leaving me alone clutching a broomstick), I was shocked awake at 3 a.m. by the phone ringing. On the other end, the most menacing (although not-particularly inventive) obscene caller told me how much he’d like to make me …

Mother of Game: Lessons from the Sidelines

I sat in the gym with my ass flattening on the wood bleacher. This occasionally alternated with sitting on soccer fields where the same ass is suspended more forgivingly in a camp chair. It’s a butt-annihilator, but I prefer the gym. I have no memory of what I did during weekends before basketball and soccer fused themselves to my being like an exoskeleton. Was I at the theater? Pickling breakfast radishes? Whatever I was doing didn’t include camp chairs — a product both nifty and humiliating. My son’s team was getting crushed. This was local basketball and different from the travel team he also plays for — this one has volunteer coaches with a gentle vibe. Not harrowing. But feelings creep in. There are impotent frustrations. If only they did this, they’d be winning. If only I could shout some advice to my son, Griffin and the other kids, this game would turn around. I’ve never played basketball, not a single game, but I’m convinced I’d coach to victory. The previous time I’d given in …

Just Say No: Ending My Strange, Candy-Wrapped Addiction

It’s such old news. So passé. I don’t even want to talk about my addiction. It’s like still wearing skinny jeans when everyone has moved back to boot cut (again). Like smoking when everyone else is vaping. (By the way, what is vaping? No idea.) “Isn’t it all so 2013?” I asked Karen, our social media editor, over our weekly coffee. “Yeah, but you’re still addicted and so is everyone else. I think it’s important to discuss it.” So, here it is: I still play Candy Crush for, maybe, a total of an hour every day. On the subway to and from my office. In bed before I fall asleep. On the can. Sorry, but I need to come clean with the whole truth. I’m not killing puppies or destroying my lungs (or my liver) — I’m just lining up jellybeans, creating color bombs and blasting meringues. It’s seemingly a harmless, albeit engrossing time-waster. My husband looks up from his Ta-Nehisi Coates book, pointing at my game. “Hey, there are three little red hotdogs you …

The Second Set: A SAHM Puts Her Tennis Game to Work

I charge down the line and join my doubles partner at the net. We are prepared to crush anything that comes our way. It’s a glorious spring day and we are dominating our first match of the season. Our opponent sends a lob in my direction, but unfortunately (for her) it doesn’t catch enough height to clear my head. I rotate my body sideways, point upward to locate the ball in the glistening sun and wind my tennis racquet around in perfect form before delivering the devastating overhead shot that could win us the game. “Deeeeep,” our opponent calls from the other side of the net. “Are you freakin’ kidding me,” I say, under my breath, certain that the ball was way inside the line. My partner Chrissy runs over, tells me to “shake it off” (who the hell is she, Taylor Swift?) and convinces me to keep playing. We win the match on the next point, shake hands with the ladies we just defeated and smile as we head off the court to have …

I Would Probably Beat You at SET (And I Don’t Feel Bad)

Do you know the game SET? It’s a card game of visual perception that has won a ton of awards — but that’s not why I love it. I love it because…well, because I’m great at it. I’m not being conceited. It just comes easy to me; in fact, I was shocked to find it does not come naturally to everyone. I’ll elaborate, but first I want to tell you about the game. [pullquote]When I’m playing SET, I am entirely and blissfully in the moment — and I’m in it to win it (which I usually do.)[/pullquote] SET is a race to find sets of three cards where the features on each of the cards are either all the same or all different. There are four features to compare: color (red, purple or green), shape (oval, squiggle or diamond), number (one, two or three) and shading (solid, striped or outlined.) It’s an all-out competition, with no taking of turns and no element of luck — the player who finds the most sets wins. SET is …

Why I Finally Got My Very Own Minecraft Account

One day several years ago, the kids are playing Minecraft and I hear this from the other room: “Okay! Meet you at the head shop!” My parental ears perk up, and I casually call, “Wow, they have head shops in Minecraft? What do they sell?” “Heads, Mom. What do you think?” Then and there I decided it was worth the investment for me to get a Minecraft account too. My kids have been playing Minecraft for almost four years, but aside from installing “mods” (software modifications) for them and playing all-around IT support, I just wasn’t that interested in it. I tried it but mostly for their safety, to see what was going on. The kids were thrilled I had joined, but my first experience just wasn’t that exciting so I bailed. No real head shops. I just remember punching trees to get wood, killing sheep to make a bed and gathering seeds to grow food. I really found it boring. At the time I didn’t know that that was just a tiny part of how …